Tolkien Collector's Guide
Lord of the rings trilogy

Lord of the rings trilogy

Jan 11

I have a copy of the lord of the rings trilogy in one book. I cannot find a picture of my book or any information on it except that it maybe was printed in 1973. Can anyone give me more information on it and how much it is worth? Photos are attached. Thanks. Here's a link to see the photos. https://www.ksl.com/classifieds/listing/50710344
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Jan 11
Anyone have any idea what this might fetch these days?
Jan 11
(edited)
I think my signed 1968 paperback is about £5000, but it is just signed and not inscribed, and is the 1st printing, not sure if the inscription decreases the value in this case.

What do people think about inscriptions, do they add or decrease value on a J.R.R. Tolkien signed item?

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Jan 11
I'd agree with Trotter's value estimate.

For inscriptions, my personal opinion is that it adds a bit more confidence in authenticity (more handwriting to analyze, some hint of history for provenance). I don't think it adds value per se unless the inscription itself is to someone "important" ie has meaning to third parties, not just the one it is signed to.

This is for Tolkien signed items, of course. For living authors, I feel that inscriptions subtract value for anyone not the recipient (again unless to someone "important"). I still get my books inscribed to me when I do meet authors, though, as I value the memory/interaction more than the resale value, personally.
Jan 11
I have some supporting provenance documents from the previous owner, so in this case I think the inscription is actually a good thing.

I also find it poignant that it was inscribed on July 15th, 1973 — less than two months before Tolkien died....
Jan 11
That's a beautiful signature there, Trotter!
Jan 11
I strongly suspect that this:

Iain Torrance

is the Iain Torrance to whom my copy was inscribed. He says his father was a friend of Tolkien; and the father of the aforelinked Iain Torrance:

Thomas F. Torrance

was at Oriel College in 1939-40.

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Jan 11
Aelfwine, I agree, your inscription is a good thing in my mind. I also like the letter in provenance that you have. I do think you have correctly identified the recipient of the signed book. I like Iain's note of his astonishment, especially. That's a hard way to sign a book!

I also noted the date on your inscription, and also found it poignant.
Jan 11
I'd say that for Tolkien, the inscription adds value and confidence in the item. For any less commonly faked author, I'd probably think the opposite.
Jan 11
(edited)
I'm happy to report that I've had email contact with Rev. Iain Torrance, and he confirms that this was indeed his copy.

He also tells me: "JRRT came to receive an honorary degree at the University of Edinburgh and his host (the professor of English) brought him to tea with my parents."

That would be the occasion of Tolkien's receiving an honorary Doctor of Letters degree at the University of Edinburgh on July 12, 1973 — i.e., just three days before this book was inscribed — and the host would have been Angus McIntosh.

So, the book was signed in conjunction with Tolkien's extended travels with Priscilla for and in conjunction with this occasion, as he alludes to in a letter that can be seen here.

(Isn't the Internet wonderful?)
Jan 11

Aelfwine wrote:
I'm happy to report that I've had email contact with Rev. Iain Torrance, and he confirms that this was indeed his copy.

He also tells me: "JRRT came to receive an honorary degree at the University of Edinburgh and his host (the professor of English) brought him to tea with my parents."

That would be the occasion of Tolkien's receiving an honorary Doctor of Letters degree at the University of Edinburgh on July 12, 1973 — i.e., just three days before this book was inscribed — and the host would have been Angus McIntosh.

So, the book was signed in conjunction with Tolkien's extended travels with Priscilla for and in conjunction with this occasion, as he alludes to in a letter that can be seen here.

(Isn't the Internet wonderful?)


This is the kind of thing that makes - for me - an inscribed Tolkien item so much more interesting than a purely signed item. I still wouldn't pay £5000 to own one, as I don't feel the need, but it is enjoyable to read about, so thanks for sharing.
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